After several twists and turns, Georges St-Pierre has finally put pen to paper and signed to challenge middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC 217.
St-Pierre posted a picture of him inking the bout agreement Wednesday on his verified Twitter account:
Finally signing my UFC 217 Bout Agreement vs. Michael Bisping for Nov. 4th at MSG – Get ready for a big night in NYC!!! pic.twitter.com/VgqIVnsLwv
— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) August 9, 2017
UFC 217 takes place November 4 inside NYC’s famed Madison Square Garden.
St-Pierre initially agreed to challenge Bisping when he decided to end his four-year “break” from MMA by signing a new multi-fight contract extension with the UFC in February. The UFC even held a press conference in March to promote the scrap, despite not announcing when or where the tango would take place.
In steps the twists and turns mentioned earlier…
St-Pierre said he would be more than happy to face Bisping any time after October. UFC president Dana White was not happy with “Rush’s” lack of urgency to get back to work, so in May White pulled him from the bout in favor of Yoel Romero.
Bisping then needed additional time to recover from a knee injury, so Romero was assigned to Robert Whittaker for an interim middleweight belt at UFC 213. Whittaker took a unanimous decision to capture the manufactured crown in July.
White still wasn’t willing to slid St-Pierre back into a bout with Bisping, so he announced Bisping’s next outing would be a title unification bout against Whittaker. White said the ship for St-Pierre vs. Bisping “had sailed” and the former UFC welterweight king would make his comeback bout against the victor of last month’s welterweight title tilt between champ Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia.
However, after Woodley put the crowd to sleep with a ho-hum unanimous decision win at UFC 214, White yanked “The Chosen One” from the blockbuster fight and chose to gift it back to Bisping.
And that leads us to today, where Bisping vs. GSP now officially has a when and where.
St-Pierre was sitting firmly atop the UFC welterweight mountain when he voluntarily vacated his title and abruptly walked away from MMA in December 2013 at the peak of his illustrious career. GSP later revealed that the UFC’s lax drug testing policy was one of his primary reasons for leaving the game at the peak of his illustrious career.
The 36-year-old had stated he would never return to the UFC unless more rigorous drug testing was in place. In July of 2015, the UFC hired the USADA to conduct random, year-round drug tests on all of their athletes.
St-Pierre and the UFC then needed to iron out a new contract because the UFC signed an exclusive sponsorship deal with Reebok during GSP’s absence, which St-Pierre claimed would “cost him money” to fight because he was no longer allowed to wear Under Armour during fight week.
Both sides officially came to terms February on a new deal, which paved the way for St-Pierre, the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draw during his hayday, to essentially choose who his first opponent would be.
Bisping, meanwhile, has rattled off five straight wins en route to capturing the middleweight belt. After shocking the MMA world by knocking out Luke Rockhold to steal the gold, he posted a unanimous decision win over Dan Henderson last October in his first title defense.